Delhites to walk against power tariff hikes

To conduct walkathon across the capital


Danish Raza | November 3, 2011

Burdened by increasing tariff hikes in electricity bills, Delhi residents have decided to take things in their own hands. United Residents Joint Action (URJA), a conglomeration of resident welfare associations (RWAs), launched a walkathon on Thursday to protest against increasing tariff hike.

URJA members will conduct walks across 70 constituencies and will meet the RWA constituents and MLAs of each constituency with their set of demands.

“We have just two basic demands. Get the accounts of the power distribution companies audited by the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) and bring these companies under the ambit of the right to information (RTI) act. Currently, the companies are not accountable to anybody. Whenever the discoms tell the government that they are facing losses and need to increase tariff, the government keeps mum and gives them a free hand,” said Sanjay Kaul, chairperson, URJA.

On first day of the campaign, URJA members were detained for around 30 minutes when they were on their way from Jantar Mantar to the residence of V K Malhotra, leader of the opposition in Delhi assembly. 

Malhotra, a BJP leader said that the campaign had dull support of his party.

Members of the association also met the MLAs of three legislative constituencies- Rajendra Nagar, Karol Bagh and Patel Nagar.

Last month, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said that the recent tariff increase of 22 percent granted to the three discoms- BSES Radhani, BSES Yamuna and NDPL was not enough and the companies might to for another round of hike.

The chief minister justified the hike by saying that the cost of power on Delhi was still much lower as compared to other states.

Commenting about the same Kaul said, “Last year, when the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) indicated that it would reduce power tariff by 20 percent the Delhi government used section 108 of the electricity act to block the order. This year when the commission has increased the tariffs by 22 percent why does not the government use the same section to stop the tariff order until the CAG finishes its audit?”



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